Veteran leader of the Indian communist party Satya Pal Dang has died at the age of 92, on Saturday in Amritsar. Born in 1920 in Gujranwala Pakistan, Dang married Vimla, the leader of the CPI’s women’s wing in 1952, she died in 2009. Both Deng and Vimla became well known and respected for their rule in India’s communist party and their opposition to terrorism in the Punjab.
Dang, a leader of the student movement during British colonial rule, became the general secretary of the All India Students Federation in 1945. Remaining underground throughout the British rule, Deng rose to prominence as a people’s leader in the struggles of post-colonial India. Elected four times to the Punjab assembly, from Amritsar and become Food Minister of the state in 1967, Dang was an important part of Indian politics.
During the height of the terrorist insurgency in the Punjab in 1980, Dang was vocal and active in opposing the secession coming up with the slogan “Na Hindurashtra, na Khalistan, jug jug jiye Hindustan” (neither a Hindu state, nor a separate Khalistan, long live India).
Dang faced his first defeat in 1980. Later, his seat was given to his wife Vimla, who won it back in 1992. R.I.P Satya Pal Dang.